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Lesson 11: Learn to let go. Happiness comes from inside.

September 04, 20172 min read

The philosophy of Zen often presents concepts that seem remarkably straightforward, yet the simplicity is deceptive. The idea of "letting go," although it appears to be uncomplicated, demands an extensive commitment to practice and discipline. It's about releasing the power that negative experiences, such as hurtful critiques from bullies, have over us. It's about freeing oneself from the grip of resentment and bypassing the things that cause emotional wounds. Certainly, this process is not effortless, but the ability to choose is always within our grasp.

Ask yourself; are you experiencing happiness at this very moment? If your answer is negative, consider the reasons behind this discontent. It is crucial to understand that happiness stems from within; no one else holds the key to your joy. So, what is it that is stopping you from embracing happiness today? Resist the propensity to postpone joy for a seemingly ideal moment in the future. Happiness shouldn't be an elusive state, just out of reach; you have the power to welcome it into your life immediately.

Remember that happiness is a choice—an active decision we make each day. Do not fall into the trap of believing that happiness is dependent on the presence or actions of your loved ones, or that material wealth is a prerequisite for joy. I've encountered numerous individuals with considerable wealth who are, despite their financial success, deeply unhappy. We must recognize that people can only affect us emotionally if we permit them to do so. Often, the words that wound us the most are those we fear could carry a kernel of truth.

Throughout Ireland, there exists a tradition that embodies a profoundly different approach to loss. When someone departs from this world, we choose to honor and rejoice in the life they've lived instead of solely focusing on the sorrow of their absence. This is more than a mere difference in perspective; it is an essential distinction that underscores how we opt to experience life. This cultural practice illustrates the power of choice in shaping our response to life's inevitable challenges and transitions. It reminds us to seek out the light, even in moments of darkness, and to celebrate the journey as much as the destination.

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